Camp Sunrise

Outright Vermont's Potential Acquisition of Camp Sunrise Aims to Boost LGBTQ+ Youth Camp Access While Preserving it as a Community Resource

Outright Vermont (Outright) and the Green Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts of America (GMC) are pleased to share that Outright has signed a Purchase and Sales Agreement for Camp Sunrise, a 146-acre parcel of lakefront property in Addison and Rutland counties, currently owned by GMC. Should Outright acquire Camp Sunrise, the property will continue to serve as a vital resource for Vermont's youth and their families. This acquisition would sustain a hundred-year legacy of the camp being a safe and nurturing environment, fostering the growth and development of young people. 

“Working with Outright Vermont aligns with the GMC’s goal to conserve the natural landscape of the property and ensures Camp Sunrise will endure as a safe place where youth from Vermont and beyond can gain a powerful sense of belonging needed to grow into responsible community members,” says Mark Saxon, Scout Executive and CEO of GMC.

In response to the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, Outright has long desired to expand its marquee program, Camp Outright, an overnight summer camp, and Vermont’s only camp tailored for LGBTQ+ and allied youth. Although Outright expanded its camp programming in 2021 to double the number of campers from an annual average of 60 to 120, over a hundred youth are declined each year, all without widespread advertising. Also, there’s a significant need for outdoor programming for families with children under 13 years old.

Outright and GMC have worked with the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) in recent months to determine the feasibility of acquiring this major property, working through the acquisition process with cautious optimism while addressing the details.

“Expansion of Camp Outright is an absolute necessity to support LGBTQ+ and allied youth. The ability to purchase land in Vermont that borders two lakes and already has key camp structures in place is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’ve planned for this moment and are poised to move forward,” said Dana Kaplan, Executive Director of Outright.

As a statewide organization, Outright has partnerships in the area, and is excited by the prospect of deepening its connection to the region. Outright understands and values that the land and lakes are not only a source of great identity and pride, but an essential part of the infrastructure for the local community’s health.

“We want local community members to know we are not seeking any changes to the public access they have historically enjoyed at Lake Sunset. We welcome their continued recreational use for weekend outings, annual traditions, and adventures as they have in years past,“ said Kaplan.

GMC and Outright are dedicated to involving and collaborating with local community members and their organizational supporters as the possible sale moves forward.

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